I have been considering breaking my fast for the past hour. My Lenten practice that I have chosen is to avoid eating a whole other meal after dinner. 9-10 pm is when the urge sets in. Tonight it has been especially strong.
Thinking about it has helped me to remember why this happens. Once again, I'm not really hungry. I'm tired. Baby woke up at 4:40. First meeting of the day at 6:30. My husband gave me the gift of a short nap by keeping the baby occupied. But then the rest of the day was all go. So now, my body is saying stop. I'm arguing, wanting to keep going but needing carb fuel to make that happen.
It's amazing how Lent can make you more intentional.
Before I would have had the meal without even realizing why. Now it will be a real choice. Even our minor temptations (like late night snacks) can reveal something about us. Major ones can too, if we pay attention. What gift can we give ourselves that might fill that need in a better way, leading toward more abundant life? For me, for tonight, that means sleep instead of a snack.
It's Lent. The traditional season for giving something up. Even people who have never been part of the church community have noticed friends or family giving up things in the weeks before Easter- chocolate, swearing, tv... Sometimes, this is just a way to test yourself, to see what kind of will power you have. While toning your Discipline muscle is a good thing, I like to describe the purpose of fasting during Lent as "making room". When you clear out something you make room for God and for the goodness God has placed around you. That nurtures the purpose God has for you, just like how Jesus was nurtured in his own 40 days in the wilderness.
My fast is food related. I have developed a habit of lazily eating a post-dinner meal late at night. You'd think I was a hobbit or something. I never really plan on eating again as I clear the table from dinner. It just happens. And usually meals that "just happen" around here are junk food.
So, during Lent I am fasting from that after dinner meal. It's not really a sacrifice, but it does make me take notice. It has made more time for late night conversation and our Bible reading. I go to bed earlier, too, usually. Or like tonight, I am spending time on music I love, the sound of the wind outside while I am cozy inside and catching up on some of my favorite blogs. These small joys have turned my fast into a feast.